Red Sox Nation truly stretches across the country, but at long last a custom-designed 1957 Metropolitan Nash “Red Sox car” has finally made it to New England, courtesy of Richard Berberian, owner of Elyse Jewelers in Reading. Now, he plans to restore the car and use it to raise money for local causes.
“I just thought it was something cool and different that I could do something good with for charity,” he says.
The car’s life as a rolling tribute to the Red Sox started more than 20 years ago, when Tim Hall, owner of a custom golf cart shop in Colorado, decided to customize the car in Red Sox regalia. Doing so involved a lot more than just painting the car in the team’s classic red, white, and blue colors, though. Everything about the vehicle screams Red Sox on both the inside and out.
Its roof looks like a Red Sox baseball cap, its spare tire cover looks like a baseball, and a Red Sox logo emblazons the hood. Those details extend to the inside of the car, too: Its gearshift is a wooden baseball bat, its knobs round baseballs, and the interior carpet green AstroTurf. Even the horn sounds like a baseball stadium organ playing “charge!”
After owning the car for a few years, Hall tried to find it a new home—even going so far as to advertise it on Craigslist for New York Yankees fans to destroy—until it wound up with New England native Paul Martin, who now calls Texas home. Martin enjoyed the car for many years himself, and even drove it in Houston’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
Now, Berberian is the steward of the car, which he had shipped from Texas to Massachusetts, where it’s being restored by David Sullivan and his team at Autoworks Custom Car Care in Mansfield. There, they’ll be doing “restoration modification,” which involves taking “an old platform car and kind of [stepping] it up to new technology,” says Sullivan, who co-owns Autoworks Custom Car Care with his wife.
They’ll be doing things like replacing leaking gaskets, improving the steering, adding modern seatbelts, pulling out the motor and transmission, and even hand-making parts of the vehicle to replace rusty body panels that aren’t being made anymore.
“We’re literally going to be pulling the motor out and pulling it in pieces,” Sullivan says. “We are going to go through the whole thing, head to toe.”
When it’s finished, the car will not only look great but also be safe and drivable.
“It’s gonna be really cool,” Sullivan says.
It’ll also be safe to display places without leaking fluids, which is important to Berberian’s goal of using the car for charity purposes.
“My plan is to orchestrate the car being used solely to raise money for the Red Sox charitable foundation and Jimmy Fund,” he says.
Although Berberian says “the plan to accomplish this is not fully formulated yet,” he hopes to make the car available to the Red Sox if they want to display it in any way. He also envisions local groups like Rotary clubs and chambers of commerce, or even local businesses, displaying the car at events, parades, or shows, all in the name of charity.
“I’m hoping to be able to have the car actively displayed and available at events for fans to see, enjoy it, and [take] pictures with it,” Berberian says.
For more information, visit elysejewelers.com